My first actual CBG is the one below. The neck is a hefty 1.64 inch x .754 hunk of wood. I built it with a Low D Med A and Med D strings. It's as flat as Kansas from nut to tailpiece.There's enough room for another tuner... Questions: I plan on adding a soundhole(s). What would you do? String her up to make a baritone or bass? Add a tuner to make it a four-string? How big of strings would this thing handle without a truss rod? Add back-bend to it? Leave it the heck alone - "it's my first, for cryin' out loud?"

 I'd appreciate any thoughts or comments.

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3 or 4 strings? With that neck, either will be fine.

Bass or Baritone? Which do you like?

You're going to hear "there are no rules" around this site. And within reason that is true. You have a very hearty neck, so you can get away with just about any configuration you want. In fact, don't worry about it too much. Unless you are very different than the folks here, then you already have thoughts on "the next one."

Don't stress too much on 3 o4 4, bass or baritone, etc. Build it, play it, learn from it and decide what you want the next one to do. That's how you become a better builder.

Now, with sage comments out of the way, here's what I would do:

1. Go with three strings (easy to learn and you sound good quickly)

2. Tune to a simple open 1-5-1 tuning (D A D or E B E or any other 1-5-1)

3. I know it's a bit technical, but if you use one of the online string tension calculators you can select the three strings that give you about 15# of tension (each). With 15# of tension, you can safely tune up about three semi-tones or down two semi-tones. That means you can tune to any one of six open tuning keys. That is a real plus as you learn.

4. Grab a slide and a pick and start playing. Even if you've never played, it will come fairly quickly. That's the beauty of three strings and open tuning. I have found that downloading a guitar backing track of a song you like is a great motivator to learn. With a back up band you can quickly sound good with small three-string leads.

So, for crying out loud, finish that puppy and start playing.

Hi Ray, I would second Tom T's suggestions.

But my contribution would be relating to the body [soundbox].

The idea of a lid on a box is to keep things from getting out, right? So why create sound by plucking the strings and not letting it out. You put a lot into the build so I recon do all you can to get the best sound you can out of it. Put a soundhole in that sucker. Unless of course its gonna be electric.

You will get sound off of the outside surface of the top, but a lot of the tone and volume is bouncing around inside the sound box in the form of soundwaves. The size and placement is part of the learning curve. A smaller soundhole will favour more bass response, while larger soundholes tend to enhance a treble response. 

Let the fun begin. Merry Christmas Taff 

 Thanks for the great information, guys! That will help a lot. Was planning to try to slot the soundhole like I mentioned for that other build. It'll be good to try it on before that Cohiba build...

 Thanks again, guys. 

Kind of good to leave that first build just as you did it - or if needed, subtly make it play better.  Good look to it.

  Thank you, Unc! I'm still torn about the sound hole... Yes? No? Yeh, I'm a bit of a nostalgic ol' fool sometimes...

 I just put new strings on her. Gonna build a little nicer bridge and fine-tune the nut to get the strings a little lower. When I built it, I erred on the side of caution and didn't quite file the nut slot low enough. She's good for slide, but the intonation is off a bit because of it. Think I'll leave her as is otherwise. Thanks!


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